Press release from networks of environmental organizations:
ECIM, Nature Protection, An Eye for the Environment, Management of Environmental Services
During the period 20 May – 20 June 2017, we, 30 environmental organizations undertook an initiative to observe the campaign of the general parliamentary elections of 25 June 2017 to study and understand the political offer of the participating entities on issues related to the environment, its protection . The environment is a set of issues that are directly related to the basic factors of life on the planet, and also affect, or indirectly, the design and proper implementation of sectoral and cross-sectoral public policies.
From the study of the documents published by the participating political subjects, such as programs, statements, opinions and communications, during the period in question, we find the following conclusions regarding the environment:
- The political entities competing for the 2017 general parliamentary elections in the Republic of Albania do not give a concrete answer in their programs and/or platforms for reducing the negative consequences from the advancement of the transport infrastructure [water, road, air] at the local and national level in Albania;
- The respective political entities acknowledge the worrying situation regarding the protection of forests and rivers in Albania. Although in some areas of the country, even protected, environmental interventions have been carried out or designed, negatively affecting biodiversity, through the construction of HPPs, tourist resorts, the installation of incinerators for waste, the attitude of the subjects, if not absent, is minimalist : They state that they will punish the subjects when they do not respect the works contracts for the realization of these interventions, without detailing concrete measures for the protection of the natural resources in question;
- The political entities do not offer an answer for reducing the negative consequences from the advancement of the infrastructure of telecommunications technology and energy production in Albania;
- The political entities do not provide answers on concrete urgent measures against pollution on the air standards in Tirana and any other urban center that is equally at risk;
- Despite the failures, the political entities participating in the 2017 elections do not have an answer regarding the proper administration at the national and local level, in time and with efficiency of civil emergencies (natural disasters and/or man-made) in Albania;
- In relation to waste management, their import and recycling, hygiene in public spaces, the release of CO2 from inappropriate public and private means of transport at the municipal level, the response of political entities remains limited to the annulment of the existing law on waste and advances to a second alternative for a waste import moratorium. Agriculture is an important topic included in some of the programs of the studied subjects. Measures and priorities in the sector are identified, however the sector’s critical issues such as food safety, sustainable use of plant protection products, protection of public health from chemical preparations, remain untreated, or detailed in a generic way.
- The political entities in none of the reviewed documents do not present concrete measures and instruments to respect/guarantee the right of citizens to information on environmental issues and relevant decision-making, as a right expressed in the constitution and guaranteed also on the basis of state commitments through ratification of international legal instruments.
Based on these findings and the identified problem, the lack of communication of the political subjects participating in the elections, we environmental organizations, members of the 4 networks ECIM, Nature Protection, An Eye for the Environment, Management of Environmental Services, express our concern that despite the environmental problems already known, this theme finds an insufficient place in the political programs and platforms of the general parliamentary elections in the Republic of Albania.
In the meantime, we confirm our serious commitment to monitor the implementation of the programs of political subjects winning the elections, decision-making at every level of government as part of observation, information and public discussion on environmental issues of interest to everyone.
This analysis is carried out by the organization Milieukontakt Albania within the project: “Information-Communication on environmental policies for sustainable development”, as part of the SENIOR – II program, which is implemented by the Regional Environment Center REC Albania with the financial support of the Swedish Government.